9th child dies after virus outbreak at New Jersey facility

A 3D illustration of the adenovirus

Health officials confirmed the presence of adenovirus 7 at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, located in Haskell, New Jersey, where 6 kids have died in the viral outbreak.

The Health Department says an inspection team found "minor handwashing deficiencies", and they continue to work closely with the nursing and rehab center on infection control issues.

Another will be sent to the University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, where a premature baby died amid a bacterial infection. A staff member also became ill, and there have been eight pediatric deaths.

The children affected were previously described in a health department statement as "medically fragile children with severely compromised immune systems".

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The highly contagious adenovirus poses little to risk to healthy people.

"This is a tragic situation, and our thoughts are with the families who are grieving right now", New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said in a press release.

The new diagnoses bring the total number of cases to 25. The most recent outbreak of the illness at the facility, about 32 miles (50 km) northwest of New York City, was October 22. The child had become ill before October 22, according to officials.

The strain of adenovirus is associated with communal living arrangements, it said.

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The teen - who has been a longterm care patient at the facility for four years - was apparently diagnosed with the virus several days before the NJ Health Department was notified of the outbreak, the WABC article says.

Adenovirus is a respiratory disease with symptoms that may include a sore throat, pneumonia, diarrhea, pink eye, fever, and inflammation of the stomach and intestines. "Often people become ill for many reasons, especially these medically fragile children who had respiratory problems as part of their underlying medical conditions".

The Department of Health's Communicable Disease service remains on site to monitor the outbreak.

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